© Uli Deck/dpa/AFPA commemoration held in tribute to the police officer killed in the Mannheim stabbing of 3 June 2024
A local council candidate for the German right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party was attacked with a knife on Tuesday, Deutsche Welle reported on Wednesday. According to media reports, the politician was injured in the incident, which occurred at around 10:45 p.m. on Tuesday night. The police have neither confirmed nor denied the incident, stating that they would issue a statement later today.

According to DPA, the victim required hospital treatment, and the attacker was arrested. The leader of the regional branch of the AfD told the AFP news agency that the candidate was attacked after confronting a person attempting to remove an election poster.

Mannheim AfD councillor Jörg Finkler said his 62-year-old friend and colleague had suffered injuries to the ear and stomach. 'We are shocked and dismayed,' said AfD state chairman Markus Frohnmaier.

Comment: Footage - viewer discreation is advised:

The incident comes just days after an attacker of immigrant background injured several participants, including a police officer, at a meeting of the Pax Europa civic movement in the centre of Mannheim. The event was also attended by Michael Stürzenberger, a conservative politician and critic of Islam, who was also wounded by the attacker, who injured five others. A 29-year-old policeman died from his injuries on Sunday.

The perpetrator has been identified as 25-year-old Sulaiman A., an Afghan immigrant. Born in 1999 in Herat, Afghanistan, he arrived in Germany in 2013 and applied for asylum. His application was rejected in 2014, but a deportation ban was not imposed, presumably because of his young age. Since then, he has been granted a residence permit in Germany.

Although detailed information is not yet available, it is possible that Tuesday's stabbing was politically motivated, as the AfD is Germany's most radical anti-immigration party.

Comment: It, along with the other right-wing groups, are also the most targeted by Germany's establishment:

Their popularity has plummeted in recent months — from 22 per cent in January to just 16 per cent now — but they remain the country's second-largest political force and are still popular in the east. The events of recent days are almost certain to boost their support ahead of the upcoming European Parliament elections.

Friday's stabbing has also sparked a major political debate in Germany. Several CDU/CSU-governed provinces have backed a proposal by Hamburg's Social Democratic Senator Andy Grote that would allow the deportation of such criminals to Afghanistan and Syria in the future. Christian Dürr, leader of the coalition Liberals (FDP), has also supported the proposal.

As a result of Germany's permissive immigration policy, in 2022, 27.2 per cent of the country's population were of immigrant origin (around 22 million people), including 3.5 million from the Middle East and 1.1 million from Africa. It is worth recalling that in 2015, during the migration crisis, Angela Merkel's Germany supported an open borders policy. However, since then, German politicians, recognising the significantly damaging consequences, have been calling for a stricter migration policy similar to the Hungarian model, albeit with little success.